Water Tanks-The System


Hot Springs receives on average 17 inches of precipitation per year. Some years are wetter. Some years are drier. But water is ultimately one of the main limiting factors on the farmstead. Currently we get most of the water we use for household purposes (cooking, cleaning, etc.) and for watering the gardens and orchards from a well that taps into groundwater from the local aquifer. There are times of year where the amount of water we need for all of these purposes exceeds the capacity of the well. At that point we need to stop using the water so that the well can recharge. So we decided that storing water so that it can be used to supplement the well was a top priority. And one of the ways we wanted to store water was with large water tanks.


(There are many different strategies to conserve water. If you would like to learn more about some of these strategies please check out the links below.)


The main source for storing water comes from a seasonal spring that is on the property. The spring is located up one of the drainages that extends up the canyon wall behind the house. Water from the spring is currently captured up the hill and piped down below. At that point the water can be diverted to a few different places. One is to an old spring box that has limited capacity. The other is to a small “pond” that has larger capacity but that dries up when there is limited rainfall. The volume of water the spring produces fluctuates with the amount of rainfall that infiltrates into the ground. So during the driest parts of the year when we need water the most, there is less water available. To address these shortfalls we decided to purchase and place three 3,000 gallon tanks that would allow is to capture more of the water from the spring and store it for the times of year when we need it most. We then hope to use the water from the tanks to water the gardens and orchards and take pressure off of the well. The water in the tanks can also be tapped into to fight a wildfire if that were to occur on the property. Increased water storage could end up saving our home someday.


To use gravity to get the best water pressure for a water tank system we needed to place the tanks as high up on the landscape as possible. That ended up being the top of the hill behind the hillside orchard. Placing the tanks on the hill presented unique challenges which you can read more about here: Water Tanks-Placement.